As a leader for decades, the United States has played a pivotal role in shaping the world as we know it today, from facilitating global trade and commerce to promoting international stability and security. However, confronted with ever-changing geopolitical, military, economic, and technological shifts, policy makers must leverage the United State’s unique position to lead by looking past traditional approaches to these matters and adopting new strategies aimed at ensuring the long-term freedom, safety and security of both the U.S. and the world at large.
In an article entitled Why America Needs a Grand Strategy, author Dr. William C. Martel, Associate Professor of International Security Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, advocates for a “grand strategy” for the United States, one that would provide “coherent guidance for navigating the challenges posed by the modern world.” Citing signs of increasing disorder and instability throughout the world, ranging from the collapse of nuclear negotiations with Iran to the current economic situation of the United States, Dr. Martel believes policy makers must devise a strategy that “deals with complexities while providing guidance that helps them formulate policies for dealing with the sources of disorder,” including threats “of rising states that challenge American power” along with those from small states that could “undermine global security.” The policy should also help the United States “deal with the expected ebbs and flows in world politics.” Additionally, provisions to deal with “unexpected surprises and gradual geopolitical shifts,” including developments in the global economy, must be considered, as well as those that address the “stunning progress in Internet and communications technologies” and the associated “risks posed by weapons of mass destruction and cyber warfare in the hands of non-state actors.”
The Mariner Group believes that the United States, as a world leader, has an opportunity to contribute to ensuring the safety and security of the world by looking ahead and committing to finding new ways to anticipate, prepare for, and protect against the evolving threats society is faced with. Recognizing the impossibility of predicting and planning for every potential threat, coupled with chaos and instability throughout the world, part of the strategy that the United States should adopt is proactive reaction, which by definition is an uncommon sense of how to move toward the future and to mitigate the need to react to things which have not happened yet by preventing them from happening (fully) in the first place. This approach, coupled with protocols and processes to ensure that individual occurrences are being appropriately prevented, will help strengthen our country’s ability to provide for the common defense in the area of yet-unrealized future threats.